Question 1. Take a moment to consider any evidence in your life that you have wandered from your love relationship with God. Are you regularly hearing God speak to you? Is your life filled with the joy of the Lord? Are you seeing Spiritual Fruit in your life? Are you experiencing victory?
Wow! These questions are thought provoking! Yes, there is at least one time when I have wandered away from my love relationship with God. When I became a Christian in college, I enjoyed going to the Bible Studies and retreats. However, I was reluctant to give up the party scene. Therefore, I was what people considered to be a lukewarm Christian.
After I graduated college, I put God on the back burner. I think it was because when I went back home, there were no Christians to associate with. I know if I made an effort, I would have made some Christian friends.
Sometime later, after I got married, I met a lady at my current job. She was one of the sweetest ladies I met, who always had positive things to say about people. I never heard her say anything mean; she was always happy and in a good mood.
I am not sure when I realized that she was a Christian. I think I knew from the types of books she was reading. One day she left a copy of one of her books on the table in the break room, called “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” I had picked the book up and read a short article. I do not remember what I read; it was only a paragraph or two. That moment I realized that I was missing God in my life. All of a sudden I was filled with an immense joy. It felt that my soul was singing. That is when I rededicated my life to Jesus.
God has always spoken to me even though I am unable to hear his voice. When I returned to God it was not me seeking God; it was God chasing after me. I had to acknowledge that I had sinned and repented of my sin.
I still wander away from god. I allow things to distract me. They can be annoying things such as bills and problems at work. Then again, they can be the newest technology that distracts me. By letting these distractions hinder me on a daily basis, I wake up one day and realize that God is distant from me. I realize that he did not walk away from me; I walked away from him.
When I have wandered away from God, I can no longer hear God’s voice and my joy is lost. As John 15:11 states: “that my joy be in you, and your joy may be complete” with the distractions in my life, I do not feel the joy like I used to.
As Galatians 5:22-23 list the Spiritual Fruits as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control, I find that there is some fruit in my life. However, I do not experience them all at the same time. As I build on my love relationship with God and Jesus, my Spiritual Fruit will increase.
When God is with me, I will continue to see spiritual victory. When I turn from God, I will only see defeat. This is a day-by-day battle with me. Some days I am victorious; other days I am defeated. I must strive to win the spiritual battle every day.
Question 2. Are you presently loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? If you are not, what might you do today to rekindle your love for God?
Unfortunately, I do not believe I am. As I already mentioned, I am facing many distractions that is hindering my love relationship. I am in the middle if the spiritual warfare and sometimes feel that I am being struck down from every side.
I must get down on my knees and pray. I must ask God to search my heart to allow me to be aware of any wickedness. As proverbs 4:23 states I must “guard my heart above all else, for it is the source for life” (NIV). For example, if somebody has hurt me and I am bitter and unforgiving towards him, I will not feel the intimacy with God.
I also must evaluate my thoughts and what I say. I must ask myself, “Does God approve of this?” Then I know what changes I must make in my life.
Question 3. Do you have people in your life who feel free to share their concerns with you when they see you departing from your love relationship with God? If not, what might you do to enlist a friend to help you guard your heart?
The problem with me is I am a hard person to read. If I am facing issues, I usually keep them to myself. Then if somebody does break past my barriers, he may feel that he is interfering.
Still it would be a good idea to have small group discussions and use a buddy system to offer any advice and show concern. It is spiritually healthy to have friends who care about you and who are willing to counsel with you. This must be a two-sided thing. When somebody talks to me and offers advice, I must be willing to listen.
Bible verses are taken from The Holy Bible. New International Version.
Questions are taken from Experiencing God Knowing and Doing the Will of God. Henry and Richard Blackaby.